A gem of a tiny resort with a superb and helpful staff, from Anna the chief to Miguel the watersport assistant. Upon our arrival, we were provided with a free, local cell phone, with everyone on the resort staff included in the contact list. We used it to call for taxis, arrange excursions, order supplies, etc, even when we were traipsing around the island. This is a terrific idea that more resorts should adopt since using our US cell phones would have cost a fortune.
The hotel is tucked into a mini-jungle and currently has only 2 villas and some bungalows, all with very creative and attractive designs. Our villa, Zing-ZIng, made us feel as though we were living in a tree house but very quiet except for the coquis. Inside were 2 large bedrooms, with excellent air conditioning, plenty of storage, a safe, LCD TVs with cable, and 2 bathrooms with lots of towels and supplies. Between them is a small living room, with a stereo, games, videos, books and a Kindle, and a very well equipped kitchen with Siemens appliances, including a washer-dryer that allowed us to avoid bringing lots of clothing. The resort also installed a current transformer with a power strip that allowed us to charge all our US electronic devices without the need to bring our own current converters. Another excellent idea that should be standard.
The villa came stocked with all needed kitchen and bathroom supplies as well as the food we requested before arrival. One can arrange meal preparation with some leeway in menu choices or simply cook with food that the staff will purchase for you. Their meals were excellent, well prepared and presented, and served on our patio from the kitchen located just steps below. There are restaurants around the island but very few near the hotel and none, outside of the other resorts on the island, that serve other than local foods and relatively simple recipes. The food is usually fresh and tasty but do not expect St Barts cuisine on Dominica.
A hot tub rested a few steps below, and another patio equipped with tables, chairs, recliners and a hammock. Another few steps further down a hill, the watersports area above the beach stocked kayaks and snorkelling gear all maintained and provided with good cheer by Miguel and Vincent. In order to reach the nearby swimming and snorkelling beaches one needs to kayak for a few minutes but the staff will do that for you if you are uncomfortable on your own. One beach was in their "secret bay" and, for most of the days we were there, totally ours, alone. Clear water, nice sandy beach, close inshore snorkelling and absolutely quiet, no planes, cars etc to disturb us. The other side of the resort had a much larger, wider sandy beach, also usually deserted but for us. (There are plans to build a hotel on that one.)
Dominica needs to be well-researched before one chooses this island for a vacation. We knew what we intended to do and have had many years of experience in Caribbean travel (Petit St Vincent, Jumby Bay, Cap Juluca, Caneel Bay, Little Dix, Cotton House on Mustique and so on, are the places we have visited over the years.) This is not RockResort territory, nor should it be, but this is the perfect place for very low-key, casual, and nature-based vacations and Secret Bay is a wonderful base for that purpose.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away on the unspoilt nature island of Dominica, Secret Bay offers sustainable luxury villas and bungalows and is the perfect place for a honeymoon, anniversary or the secluded holiday of a lifetime. Situated on a cliff-top overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Secret Bay is unique in its diversity: two beaches, the magical Cario River, a spectacular sea cave and two distinct micro-climates. Secret Bay is becoming known as one of the best boutique resorts in the Caribbean - and indeed the world - for honeymoons, anniversaries, small family escapes and adventure vacations. In 2013 Secret Bay was chosen as the number one luxury resort in Caribbean by Islands Magazine; and its Zabuco Honeymoon Villa was voted as having the 3rd sexiest bedroom in the world at the Smiths Awards. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Secret Bay Hotel Portsmouth
- Secret Bay Dominica/Portsmouth